Part of London Jazz FestivalSunday 20 November 2011
Free jazz legend and icon of the avant-garde Ornette Coleman was responsible for one of the most acclaimed Meltdown festivals in our history, bringing the likes of Patti Smith, Yo La Tengo, Charlie Haden and Yoko Ono to Southbank Centre.
Following his two sold-out and much celebrated concerts at the festival, he returns to Royal Festival Hall for a very rare London performance.
Ornette Coleman began the free jazz movement with the release of his classic album The Shape Of Jazz To Come on Atlantic records in 1959, a moment which the Guardian heralded, alongside his Meltdown performance of the record, as one of the top 50 moments in jazz history.
His reputation as an avant-garde genius was sealed with 1961's Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation and since then he has consistently been regarded as one of music's great pioneers, influencing artists from John Coltrane to Lou Reed.
'Long after the last chord, people were still crowding down the aisles of the Royal Festival Hall in London to get close to jazz's greatest surviving revolutionary' (The Guardian on Ornette Coleman's Meltdown performance)
'When you talk about someone speaking through their instrument, that's Ornette. He changed everything. I just learn from him.' (Lou Reed)